SA Roofing September 2017 // Issue: 93 - Page 26

FEATURES Ridding Maseru of asbestos roofs Giving back to the community in a personal capacity is rare. When local resident, Khasane Ramolefe took it upon himself to replace a dilapidated roof tainted with asbestos at Ratjomose Primary School in Lesotho, he was motivated to help the future of his country. By Ntsako Khosa Ratjomose Primary School in Maseru. “I have a situation in Lesotho where I have committed myself to replace a roof at a primary school, only to find that that roof is made of asbestos, so simply removing it for destruction is not as simple as it seems,” says Khasane Ramolefe. His concern for the pupils is how it will affect them in the future because Lesotho has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world. “These fibres/spores get into the lungs and cause diseases most commonly diagnosed as mesothelioma or asbestosis, with an attended 'parasitic infection' being tuberculosis. And tuberculosis is a parasitic infection in HIV/AIDS sufferers,” he says. The specific school he’s currently working on is 24 SEPTEMBER 2017 RESIDENTIAL // COMMERCIAL // INDUSTRIAL one that he’s known well throughout his childhood. “I noticed in about 2012 that the school roof had blown away in some parts. One of my childhood friends went to school there, so I sometimes went to the school to fetch him,” he says. The school lies adjacent to the Roman Catholic Church and he believed that the roof would be fixed either by the church or government because, “The government uses the school as part of its ‘free primary education’ programme,” says Ramolefe. “In December 2015, I realised that this would not happen, from either party, so I decided to sort out the roof. The situation looked easy to me; remove some of the sheets from the back of the roof, where there was no damage, place them on the front closing the broken roof sheet, where passing people saw the holes, then replace the roof sheets from the back with IBR sheeting, and HEY PRESTO, done!” he says. But he was in for a surprise. “When I came to see the School Governing Body in January 2016, they told me that the roof had been made of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs), which put a spanner in the works.” Equipped with this information he set out to find out how best to do the project. “I have full support from the Archbishop of Lesotho,” he says. He’ ۜ[[]